Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rutgers Study: Protective Effect of Education on Marriage Differs Between White and African-American Women

Rutgers Study: Protective Effect of Education on Marriage Differs Between White and African-American Women.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Married couples who have attained higher levels of education are less likely to divorce than less-educated couples, but a new study conducted at Rutgers School of Social Work points to significant racial differences.

“African-American women don’t seem to enjoy the same degree of protection that education confers on marriage,” said Jeounghee Kim, assistant professor at the school. “For white Americans, higher education is related to a lower chance of divorce, and this protective effect of education on marriage increased consistently among the recent generations. But for African-American women, higher education is not necessarily related to a lower chance of divorce.”

In her study, published in the journal Family Relations and funded by the Silberman Fund Faculty Grant Program, Kim observed that researchers have found the overall divorce rate has leveled off since the 1980s after more than a century-long rise. But the rate has increasingly diverged by race and socioeconomic class, as measured by educational attainment. The divorce rate has remained steady for white women since 1980, while the trend has been less stable for African-American women.

Kim separately studied white and African-American women in five-year marriage cohorts starting from 1975 to 1979 and ending in 1995 to 1999. She took into account demographic characteristics including age, motherhood status and post-secondary education (associate degree at minimum) when married, and geographic region. Kim also measured marital dissolution (within nine years of first marriage) rather than by legal divorce, which many African-American women eschew in favor of a permanent separation.

Young African American womanKim’s analysis revealed that the percentage of white women with some postsecondary education continuously increased throughout the cohorts. This was not the case with African-American women, whose educational attainment peaked in the 1985-1994 cohorts before declining.

Concurrently, she found the percentage of white women having marital breakups declined throughout the study period, while African-American women experienced an increase in the 1980s’ cohort before declining in the 1990 to 1994 cohort.

Kim’s findings were consistent with much existing literature: Women with higher levels of education, and thus greater earning potential, would make more attractive marriage partners than women without in more recent marriage cohorts. Also, their marriages tend to last longer than those of their counterparts – particularly among white women – with less education.

Kim’s research raises questions as to why African-American women’s higher education does not have a strong marriage protective effect. “One possibility is that college education does not translate into the higher earnings that would help protect marriage for African Americans, she said. “Another could be that educational attainment may be insufficient to address the high levels of economic inequality that even well-educated African Americans experience. Many are the first in their families to have attained a post-secondary education and do not benefit from the cushion of intergenerational wealth possessed by some white families.”

A third possibility involves the gender gap in African Americans’ educational attainment; there are nearly twice as many African-American women college graduates as men. “We see the increasing power of education protecting marriage within the same socioeconomic class,” Kim said. “Well-educated white women may still have power to select an equally well-educated mate. Then, there may be a synergy factor – higher incomes, better and healthier lives, smarter kids – that helps sustain their marriage.

"On the other hand, the return on higher education may not be the same for many African-American women, who have less chance to marry their educational equals. Also, because they are less likely to marry outside their race, their choices are limited.”

Rutgers, The State University of New Jerse. Rutgers News, Your Source for University News. Media Contact: Steve Manas 732-932-7084, ext. 612 E-mail:


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

“Sugarcoated Arsenic.” Film Explores African-American Life at University of Virginia in the 1970s

“Sugarcoated Arsenic.” Film Explores African-American Life at University of Virginia in the 1970s

MARCH 11, 2013 ROBERT HULL. Students, faculty and other members of the University community filled the South Lawn Auditorium at Nau Hall Thursday to watch a black-and-white film, “Sugarcoated Arsenic.” In slightly more than 20 minutes, the film tells a remarkable story of African-American intellectual, social and political life at the University of Virginia in the 1970s.

“Sugarcoated Arsenic” was co-created by two College of Arts & Sciences faculty members, filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson, a professor in the McIntire Department of Art, and Claudrena Harold, an associate professor in the Corcoran Department of History and the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies. The film conveys its message through the words and legacy of the late Vivian Verdell Gordon, director of U.Va.’s black studies program between 1975 and 1980.

The short film stars Erin Stewart, a professional actress and graduate of the U.Va. Department of Drama, as Gordon in re-enacted documentary-style footage, and utilizes an audiotape of a speech Gordon gave in 1984 at an event sponsored by the Office of African-American Affairs at the Luther P. Jackson House.

“Vivian Gordon was very much loved,” Harold said. “I think it’s safe to say that there’s never been a professor who enjoyed the kind of popularity that she had among black students.”

African-American Life at University of Virginia in the 1970s

(photo credit: Magdeldin Hamid, Roxanne Campbell and Claudrena Harold)

In more than 70 shorts and five feature-length films, Everson has often used a faux documentary technique in his award-winning work. Archival footage is re-edited or re-staged, real people perform re-enactments and historical moments interweave with contemporary narrative.

Shot on 16mm film, “Sugarcoated Arsenic” – the title is drawn from a phrase in Gordon’s taped speech – unfolds as if it were archival footage being discovered at the moment of viewing.

“It looks like the cans of film that Claudrena would find – that we, in fact, did not find – in searching through the archives,” Everson said. “It’s as if she had been in the archives somewhere, and she’d see these cans of film. For me, that’s what the film is – that’s part of the art object.”

Shot during the advent of Superstorm Sandy at the end of October, the film was made quickly and on the fly. Prior to the shoot, students were fitted for ’70s-style clothing and given hairstyles to match the era. The key was to avoid making the footage look like a fashion shoot or a nostalgia piece.

“We had the audiotape of Gordon,” Everson said, “but all the footage you see is based on photographs that were taken of African-American students here at the University in the ’70s. We just re-enacted the photographs.”

Everson and Harold applied for the Arts in Action grant in October 2011 to do a project on the history of African-Americans at U.Va. during the 1960s and the ’70s.

“It’s been 12 months of work, 12 months of digging, 12 months of discovering and 12 months of questioning,” Harold said.

“Sugarcoated Arsenic” is part of a multimedia initiative, “Black Fire,” sponsored by U.Va.’s Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts and funded by an Arts in Action grant. Featuring film, photography, lectures, performance art, a public exhibit and an online resource center, the “Black Fire” project explores the complex history of the struggle for racial equality, social justice and cultural transformation at the University between 1969 and 1985.

The project includes a wide range of research and artistic activities, including extensive interviews with former African-American faculty and alumni, as well as digitizing the files of the Black Student Alliance.

“My vision was to tell the story of African-American studies at U.Va, along with the struggle not just to integrate this place, but to transform it,” Harold said. “And I wanted to tell the story using Kevin’s aesthetic.”

As the film project progressed, Harold searched various archival collections, hoping to find footage of African-American students on Grounds at U.Va. during this key period of activism. But nothing turned up.

As an experimental filmmaker working in the space between fact and fiction, Everson’s style is to interrupt the documentary impulse by creating supposedly found archival documents. His established techniques dovetailed with the turn of events.

“Well, I thought, why don’t we just make a film as if Claudrena Harold – with all her effort, time and passion looking through the archives – had found this footage,” Everson said. “So the whole strategy was to shoot a film as if somebody shot it here at U.Va. in 1976.”

Based on the enthusiastic response to Thursday’s premiere, the strategy worked. With Gordon at the center, the film captures a vibrant community of African-American students and faculty connected by intellectual curiosity and human warmth.

Throughout the ’70s, there were numerous marches by African-American students to Carr’s Hill, including one in 1971. Inspired by these peaceful protests, the film depicts a staged protest using current U.Va. African-American students in the roles of their forerunners.

Harold was interested in seeing how current students would access the spirit of the original protest. “One of the most interesting moments that we had in the film was when the students were marching, and they had to sing,” she said.

Everson’s footage shows that the students are truly emotionally involved in the experience, touched by their own united voices as they march and sing together in re-enacted protest.

“And I told them,” Harold said, “that if you feel this way on Oct. 30, 2012, and there are 35 of you, imagine how black folks felt in Birmingham, Ala., in 1953, when there were 5,000.”

Media Contact: Robert Hull General Assignment Writer U.Va. Media Relations 434-989-1745

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Civil Rights Lawyer Michelle Alexander to Visit LSU for Discussion on Race and the Criminal Justice System

Activist and Civil Rights Lawyer Michelle Alexander to Visit LSU for Discussion on Race and the Criminal Justice System. Lecture is a part of the Critical Conversations: Cradle to Prison Pipeline series of programs examining racial inequalities and the penal system.

BATON ROUGE – Renowned advocate, activist and civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander, the author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” will visit LSU’s campus on Thursday, March 14, for a lecture at 7 p.m. in the LSU Student Union Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Immediately following the lecture, Alexander will meet event patrons and host a book signing. Copies of “The New Jim Crow” will be available for purchase on site from Barnes & Noble at LSU.

Alexander’s visit is a part of a yearlong programming series called Critical Conversations: Cradle to Prison Pipeline. The programming is a collaboration of LSU Campus Life, LSU Black Faculty Staff Caucus, LSU African American Cultural Center, LSU African & African American Studies Program, LSU Department of Sociology and LSU Women’s Center.

Alexander will be available for a press conference prior to her lecture at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, in the LSU Student Union’s Castilian Room, Room 304. No other pre-event media interviews will be accommodated.

The New Jim Crow

In “The New Jim Crow,” Alexander presents her view that the criminal justice system has recreated a caste-like system that has resulted in millions of African-Americans being imprisoned and as a result, finding themselves in significant socio-economic disadvantage upon release.
Credentials and parking permit requests for members of the media must be requested through Melissa Foley in the Office of Communications & University Relations at no later than Tuesday, March 12, at noon.

In “The New Jim Crow,” Alexander presents her view that the criminal justice system has recreated a caste-like system that has resulted in millions of African-Americans being imprisoned and as a result, finding themselves in significant socio-economic disadvantage upon release. As a civil rights lawyer and legal scholar, Alexander demonstrates that it is within the law to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways in which it was once legal to discriminate against African-Americans. Alexander points out that once labeled a felon, old forms of discrimination are legal again through the denial of basic civil and human rights, such as the right to vote, discrimination in employment and housing, and access to education and public benefits. In her words “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

Alexander has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics. In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship and accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University.

Prior to entering academia, Alexander served as the director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California. She also has worked as a litigator at private law firms where she specialized in class action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination.

For more information on Michelle Alexander’s lecture or the Critical Conversations: Cradle to Prison Pipeline series, please contact Josh Dean, assistant director of Campus Life, at 225-578-5160 or by email at Individuals with disabilities should contact Campus Life at 225-578-5160 at least seven days in advance to address any accommodation concerns. For information about the full Critical Conversations series of programs, please visit

Melissa Foley LSU Media Relations 225-578-3869 Media Center Communications & University Relations Louisiana State University 3960 West Lakeshore Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70803 Telephone: 225-578-8654 Fax: 225-578-3860 E-mail:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Andrew Williams, professor and John P. Raynor Distinguished Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recognized as one of the 50 most Important African-Americans in Technology by

50 most Important African-Americans in Technology include Marquette engineering professor. Professor recognized for inspiring women and minority students to become engineers

Andrew Williams, professor and John P. Raynor Distinguished Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recognized as one of the 50 most Important African-Americans in Technology by

Williams has worked extensively in education, recruiting, retaining, and motivating underrepresented and female students to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in computing and engineering. He started in 2012 at Marquette, where he is the director of the Humanoid Engineering and Intelligent Robotics Lab. His research is currently focused on innovative methods for utilizing robots and artificial intelligence to address childhood obesity.

Williams and the other 49 honorees will be recognized at the 13th annual Innovation and Equity Symposium in Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 4. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Keeping America First in Technology: Public Innovation and Supplier Diversity.” During the event, Williams will be part of a panel that discusses the best practices to improve diversity in the sciences and describe how to spread best practices to classrooms across the country, as well as how to get students to embrace careers in the STEM fields.

Andrew Williams

Andrew B. Williams, Ph.D. Professor and John P. Raynor, S.J., Distinguished Chair; Director, Humanoid Engineering & Intelligent Robotics Lab
“Dr. Williams has been a beacon in the engineering field for more than a decade, advocating for and improving minority representation in engineering,” said Robert H. Bishop, Opus Dean of the Marquette College of Engineering. “Marquette is thrilled that he is continuing his outreach and research endeavors here in Milwaukee.”

Prior to Marquette, Williams was the chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Spelman College, a historically black college for women in Atlanta. At Spelman he secured nearly $6 million of research and educational funding and served as the principal investigator for the National Science Foundation-funded project ARTSI (Advancing Robotics Technology for Societal Impact), which encourages minority and underrepresented populations to study engineering and robotics.

“I started using robots early in my career because I saw it was a good teaching tool,” Williams said. “Particularly for students who historically don’t consider computing or engineering, robots help draw these students to these fields when they see how engineering can make a positive impact on social issues like obesity.”

Williams received his master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Marquette. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas and returned to become the first African-American to graduate from Kansas with a doctorate in electrical engineering.

Office of Marketing and Communication Contact: Andy Brodzeller Senior Communication Specialist (414) 288-0286 (office) (414) 587-6241 (cell)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

African-American studies director Valerie Babb to discuss legacy of slaver ship Wanderer

Athens, Ga. - Valerie Babb, director of the University of Georgia Institute for African American Studies, will give a lecture on "In the Footfalls of Diaspora: Reflections on the Wanderer" March 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Ciné Lab, 234 W. Hancock Ave. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Babb's talk will be the last in the six-part Global Georgia Initiative, a series of lectures and conversations organized by the UGA Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

Babb is a professor of English in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Her research is primarily focused on constructions of race and gender in American and African-American literature and culture. She is the author of "Whiteness Visible: The Meaning of Whiteness in American Literature and Culture" and "Ernest Gaines" and the co-author of "Black Georgetown Remembered."

The Wanderer was a converted luxury vessel that, in 1858, brought 409 Africans from the region of present-day Angola to the Georgia coast to be sold into slavery. The voyage took place nearly 50 years after the passage of the federal Slave Importation Act, which made the foreign slave trade illegal in the U.S.

The Wanderer (slave ship)

"Nothing has crystallized the complexities of diaspora for me more than researching the Wanderer, a New York Yacht Club pleasure ship that became a slaver and brought Congolese humans into chattel slavery when it landed on Jekyll Island, Ga.," said Babb. "My talk will reflect upon the many reconsiderations of diaspora's significance brought about by my trying to discover who those enslaved might have been and the ways they attempted to pass on their story."

Barbara McCaskill, associate professor of English in the Franklin College and co-director of the Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative, will introduce Babb's lecture.

The goal of the Global Georgia Initiative is to present global problems in local context by addressing pressing contemporary questions—including the economy, society and the environment—with a focus on how the arts and humanities can intervene.

Willson Center for Humanities and Arts

The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research. In the service of its mission to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts, the Willson Center sponsors and participates in numerous public events on and off the UGA campus throughout the academic year. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances. For more information.

Writer: Dave Marr News Service: University of Georgia Office of Public Affairs UGA Public Affairs Hodgson Oil Building, Suite 200N 286 Oconee Street Athens, GA 30602-1999 Phone 706 / 542-8083 · Fax 706 / 542-3939

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Morehouse College founded February 14, 1867

Morehouse College founded February 14, 1867. Title: [Exterior view of Graves(?) Hall, Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] Related Names: Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963 , collector. Date Created / Published: [1899 or 1900] Medium: 1 photographic print : gelatin silver. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-124909 (b and w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Access Advisory: Original albums; Restricted access; Served by appointment only. Call Number: LOT 11930, no. 333 [P and P] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

Notes: In album (disbound): Negro life in Georgia, U.S.A., compiled and prepared by W.E.B. Du Bois, v. 4, no. 333. B and w copy prints for LOT 11930 are provided as surrogates of original photographs for reference use in P and P Reading Room. A microfilm surrogate is also available. Forms part of: Daniel Murray Collection (Library of Congress). Original albums filed in PR 12 under LOT 11930

Morehouse College

Subjects: Morehouse College (Atlanta, Ga.)--Buildings--1890-1900. African Americans--Education--Georgia--Atlanta--1890-1900. Educational facilities--Georgia--Atlanta--1890-1900. Format: Gelatin silver prints--1890-1900. Collections: African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition

Part of: Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963. Du Bois albums of photographs of African Americans in Georgia exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900.

On February 14, 1867, the Augusta Institute was founded by William Jefferson White, an Baptist minister and cabinetmaker, with the support of the Rev. Richard C. Coulter, a former slave, and the Rev. Edmund Turney, organizer of the National Theological Institute for educating freedmen. The institution was founded to educate African American men in theology and education and was located in Springfield Baptist Church, the oldest independent black church in the United States. The school received sponsorship from the American Baptist Home Mission Society, an organization that helped establish several historically black colleges. The Institute's first president was Rev. Dr. Joseph T. Robert (father of Brigadier General Henry Martyn Robert, author of Robert's Rules of Order).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Franklin College Celebrates Black History Month

Franklin College Celebrates Black History Month. Release date: February 5, 2013 FRANKLIN, Ind. - As February is national Black History Month, Franklin College's Office of Multicultural Services is kicking off its programs with an event to bring in professionals from the Indianapolis area to talk about issues that impact the community, especially African-Americans.

This event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6 in the Napolitan Student Center in Branigin Room East. Topics that will be highlighted during the program include education, HIV/AIDS and women in the media. This event is free and open to the public.

The schedule of additional events for Black History Month includes:

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day This free event will be held at 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 in the Napolitan Student Center Health Center.

Front of Old Main on the campus of Franklin College

Front of Old Main on the campus of Franklin College

The Truth about Hip Hop: Hip Hop's Influence on Today's Culture This free event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in the Napolitan Student Center in Room 245.

National Pan-Hellenic Council Step Exhibition Representatives from the NPHC will be discussing their college experiences and demonstrating traditional step routines. This free event will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16 in the Napolitan Student Center in the Branigin Room.

Black Student Union's 6th Annual Fashion Show This year's theme is Fashion Eclipse. Tickets are $3 per person, or audience members can pay $2 per person and bring in toiletry items. Proceeds and donations will benefit Women in Motion, Inc. This is an Indianapolis-based, nonprofit organization that raises awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention. This event will be held 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22 at in the Napolitan Student Center in the Branigin Room.

CommUnity Dialogue: Race V. Ethnicity This free event will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the Napolitan Student Center in Room 245.

All events are open to the public.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Marketing and Communications at (317) 738-8185.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus located 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis. The college prepares men and women for challenging careers and fulfilling lives through the liberal arts, offering its approximately 1,000 students 28 majors, 36 minors and eight pre-professional programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit Franklin College ⋅ 101 Branigin Blvd. Franklin, IN 46131 (800) 852-0232

Image Credit: This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Mingusboodle at the wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: Mingusboodle grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Richard Allen "African Methodist Episcopal Church" (AME Church)

First African Methodist Episcopal Church ~ is founded in Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. Richard Allen led a small group of black Methodists. They formed the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1793. In general, they adopted the doctrines and form of government of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On February 4, 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor.

To establish Bethel’s independence, Allen successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an institution independent of white Methodist congregations. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities also encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia in 1816 to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the "African Methodist Episcopal Church" (AME Church).

The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a unique history as it is the first major religious denomination in the western world that developed because of sociological rather than theological differences. It was the first African-American denomination organized and incorporated in the United States. The church was born in protest against racial discrimination and slavery. This was in keeping with the Methodist Church's philosophy, whose founder John Wesley had once called the slave-trade "that execrable sum of all villainies."

Richard Allen

Richard Allen from the frontispiece of History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1891) by Daniel A. Payne.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Alfred L. Cralle ice cream scoop

Alfred L. Cralle  September 4, 1866–1920) - Is best remembered for inventing the ice cream scoop, a design still in use today. Born in Kenbridge, Lunenburg County, Virginia. He attended local schools and worked with his father in the carpentry trade as a young man, becoming interested in mechanics.

Moving to Washington, DC he took advanced courses at Wayland Seminary, one of a number of schools founded by the American Baptist Home Mission Society to educate African -Americans after the Civil War.

Later, he settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he served as a porter at Markell Brothers' drug store and the St. Charles Hotel. While working Cralle noticed that ice cream, which had become a popular confection, was difficult to dispense. It tended to stick to spoons and ladles, usually requiring use of two hands and at least two implements to serve.

Alfred L. CralleTo overcome this, he invented a one handed mechanical device now known as the ice cream scoop and applied for a patent. On February 2, 1897, he was granted U.S. Patent #576395. Cralle’s invention originally called “Ice Cream Mold and Disher” was designed to be able to keep ice cream and other foods from sticking, and easy to operate with one hand. Strong and durable, effective, inexpensive, it could be constructed in almost any desired size and shape, with no delicate parts that could break or malfunction.

Alfred L. Cralle went on to become a successful businessman as well. He was named assistant manager when the Afro-American Financial, Accumulating, Merchandise and Business Association in Pittsburgh was organized.

Alfred L. Cralle ice cream scoop

Friday, January 25, 2013

Personal Experiences of African American Pioneers to be Featured in HSU Western Heritage Lecture Series

Personal Experiences of African American Pioneers to be Featured in HSU Western Heritage Lecture Series.

Noted historian, Dr. Cary Wintz, weaves a tale of both hope and hardship as he brings to life the stories of those who pushed through Texas as pioneers in the late 19th century. Even more intriguing are the personal experiences of African American westerners who carved out a life on the plains of West Texas.

Wintz, distinguished professor of history and interim department chairperson at Texas Southern University in Houston, is the featured speaker in Hardin-Simmons University’s Guy Caldwell Western Heritage Lecture Series.

The free event grows each year as the Abilene community and university students come to hear about the pathfinders who trail blazed these same grounds more than a century ago.

Nat Love. pronounced as Nate Love, also known as Deadwood Dick (1854–1921), was an African-American cowboy following the American Civil War.
Wintz combines a rare combination of African-American history and culture, race and ethnicity, and Texas history in his presentation, “African Americans in West Texas: Personal Experiences of Pioneering Black Westerners.” His recent research interests include the Harlem Renaissance, racial and political ideology in the early 20th century, and African Americans in Texas.

Wintz has had a long connection with HSU. After the death of HSU’s noted author/historian president, Dr. Rupert N. Richardson, Wintz, co-edited Richardson’s work, Texas: The Lone Star State, which was the first college-level textbook on Texas history.

The 2013 installment of the Guy Caldwell Western Heritage Lecture is slated for Friday, February 1, 7:30 p.m. in the Johnson Building multipurpose room on the HSU campus. The public is invited to this free event.

About Dr. Cary Wintz

Wintz holds memberships in the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and several other professional organizations. He has served as president of the Southwestern Historical Association, president of the Southwestern Social Science Association, and president of the East Texas Historical Association.

Wintz also edited, abridged, and commented on an edition of Thomas Dixon Jr.’s 1905 novel, The Clansman. He has recently completed work on Oxford University Press’s Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-first Century, 5 vols, (2009), and is currently working on an Encyclopedia of African American Political Thought and several other projects.

Dr. Wintz also serves in the Texas State Guard with the rank of WO1. He is the public affairs officer of the Houston Medical Response Group of the Medical Brigade and also attached to State Guard headquarters where he serves as historian.

About the Guy Caldwell Western Heritage Lecture Series

The Guy Caldwell Western Heritage Lecture Series began in 2006 in order to promote and preserve the western legacy so closely tied to Hardin-Simmons University, the Abilene area, and West Texas. The series is funded by the Guy Caldwell Endowment.

Dr. Tiffany Fink, chair of the Guy Caldwell Western Heritage Lecture Series and associate professor of history at HSU, says, “It is our goal to continue to preserve the western heritage of HSU, Abilene, and West Texas.”

Historical Background

Guy and Jeanette Caldwell were HSU alums and remained active for many years with the university, Abilene, and the Albany community where they ran a 25,000 acre ranch and farm. Both Guy and Jeanette served in church and civic leadership positions in the Abilene community as well as worked diligently to support their alma mater.

Henry (Guy) Caldwell was born in Breckenridge, September 24, 1904, the only son of C. M. “Judge” and Cora Belle Caldwell. He graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1922, at which time the Caldwell family moved to Abilene, in part so that he could attend what was then known as Simmons College. He graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 1927 with a major in economics and a minor in history.

Like his father before him, Guy Caldwell was a strong supporter of HSU, serving on the university’s Board of Development, the Academic Foundation, and Board of Trustees.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Caldwell worked with a few other Simmons College alumni to establish the dollar-a-month club. The alumni proposed that alumni give a dollar of their earnings to Simmons College each month during the economic calamity in order to help keep the institution open. Dr. Richardson noted that the dollar-a-month club proved very inspirational to the faculty, staff, and administrators, many giving back 50% of their pay checks during the 1930s.

In the early 1950s, Guy and Jeanette Caldwell, in conjunction with the Cowboy Band and some of the HSU faculty, worked with evangelist Billy Graham on the campus and at the Caldwell ranch to produce a motion picture designed to carry a gospel message. To repay the Caldwells and HSU for their support and assistance, Graham spent a day on the Forty Acres, visiting with students, faculty, and staff and delivered an evangelical message to the largest crowd ever gathered in Rose Field House.

In 1958, Guy Caldwell received the John J. Keeter Jr. Alumni Service Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed on an HSU graduate. In 1981, he and his wife, Jeanette, were the first couple to receive jointly the Distinguished Alumni Award.

HSU president emeritus, Dr. Jesse Fletcher, described Caldwell as, “The son of pioneers and the consummate West Texan. With the deep faith that so often characterized the founding fathers, he could be counted on as a rancher, a family man, a churchman, a citizen, and a friend. Few graduates of HSU have been more consistently supportive than Guy Caldwell. That spirit so beautifully practiced by Guy and his college sweetheart and wife, Jeanette, will be reflected on the campus throughout its years.”

PRESS RELEASE: Hardin-Simmons University 2200 Hickory, Abilene, TX, 79698 (325) 670-1000; 877-GO-HSUTX Friday, January 25, 2013 Contact Information (325) 670-1264

IMAGE CREDIT: This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Significant Contributions of African-American Scientists, Authors, Educators and Leaders

Black History Month: UAlbany Faculty Experts Discuss Significant Contributions of African-American Scientists, Authors, Educators and Leaders

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 21, 2013) -- As Black History Month is celebrated throughout the United States in February, University at Albany faculty experts are available to discuss the legacy of African-American scientists, political leaders, educators and artists who helped shape U.S. history. These experts and areas of specialty include:

UAlbany Associate Professor of Women's Studies Janell Hobson explains the history behind the observance and details the important contributions of lesser known individuals who helped shape the nation. Hobson has spearheaded a special series for Ms. Magazine's blog on “Black Herstory” month and is leading the planning for a special symposium in honor of the 100th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s death. Hobson is the author of Body as Evidence (2012), an analysis of how race and gender intersect in the rhetoric and imagery of popular culture in the early 21st century.

UAlbany Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Ibram Rogers researches African-American history, American social history, the racial history of higher education, history of Africana Studies, civil rights and black power studies, student activism, the Long Sixties, black social and political thought, and American intellectual history. He has published essays on the Black Campus Movement, black power, and intellectual history in books and referred academic journals, including The Journal of African American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of African American Studies, and The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture.

Legendary Civil War veteran Harriet Tubman passed away is among a host of African Americans who helped shape U.S. history. (Illustration by Curtis James, used by permission)
Africana Studies and History Professor Allen Ballard offers insight into the history and culture of African Americans, as well as the history of the Civil War. Ballard has published several books, including The Education of Black People (1973) and Carried by Six (2009). He was also one of the first two African Americans to integrate Kenyon College.

Africana Studies Chair and Associate Professor Marcia Sutherland studies African psychology (including issues affecting people of African heritage), enslavement and colonial experiences of people of African descent, HIV/AIDS, and transracial adoption. Sutherland is the author of Black Authenticity: A Psychology for Liberating People of African Descent (1997).

University at Albany, State University of New York · 1400 Washington Ave. · Albany, NY 12222 · Phone (518) 442-3300 Contact: Media Relations Office (518) 956-8150

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson will lecture at the University of South Alabama’s African-American Studies commemorative event to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Best-Selling Author, Professor and News Contributor Michael Eric Dyson Speaks on Dr. King at USA Event.

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology at Georgetown University, MSNBC political analyst and best-selling author, will lecture at the University of South Alabama’s African-American Studies commemorative event to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at the Mobile Civic Center Theater.

Dyson will lecture on “The Sweetness of Struggle.” Jaguar Productions and the Mobile County Commission are co-sponsors, and this event is free and open to the public. JagTran will pick up students near the USA Dining Hall and Epsilon Residence Hall at 6 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

“Our campus is changing and students need to be reminded about the importance of living a life consciously engaged in struggle,” said Dr. Kern Jackson, assistant professor of English at USA and director of the African-American Studies program. “During this event, we will celebrate the life of Dr. King, and the power and importance of our collective struggle with American democracy.”

University of South Alabama logo

Dyson is recognized as one of the nation’s most insightful and remarkable figures of our time. He is a native of Detroit, Mich., and has taught at Brown, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, and several others. Dyson has won many prestigious honors, from an American Book Award to the NAACP Image Award, where he was nominated five times, taking home the celebrated trophy twice.

His influence has spread far beyond the academy in his roles of social activist, renowned orator, highly sought-after lecturer, and ordained Baptist minister and prophetic preacher. His work has led him from meeting with the president in the Oval O-ffice of the White House to meeting with prisoners across the country.

Dyson has been cited by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans and as one of the 150 Most Powerful Blacks in the nation. He has appeared on every major television and radio show in the country, including the Today Show, NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” CNN, the Tavis Smiley Show, Def Poetry Jam, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Real Time with Bill Maher and the Colbert Report.

Dyson is the author of many books, including “Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X,” which was named one of the most important African-American books of the 20th Century. The book was also named as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. He is also the author of “Holler if You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur” and a 2005 New York Times bestseller “Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?”

For more information about the USA MLK event, call Jaguar Productions at (251)460-7144.

January 15, 2013 Contact: Joy Washington, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6638

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

African-Americans from the New Deal Era

Exhibit: Rare photos of African-Americans from the New Deal Era


DATE: 4-5 p.m. Jan. 17 (panel); Jan. 17-Feb. 22 (exhibit)

EVENT: University of Michigan faculty members Sara Blair and Joshua Miller will take part in a panel discussion that kicks off the month-long exhibit "Claiming Citizenship: African Americans and New Deal Photography."

The exhibit of photographs illustrate how African-Americans took opportunities opened up by government programs in the 1930s to claim their status as dignified persons and citizens, in some respects laying foundations for the Civil Rights Movement.

PLACE: Lane Hall Gallery, 204 S. State St., Ann Arbor. Central Campus map:

SPONSORS: Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Department of Women's Studies, LSA Understanding Race Theme Semester, Institute for the Humanities, Center for the Education of Women, Rackham Graduate School, and the departments of History, History of Art, English Language and Literature, Afroamerican and African Studies, and American Culture.


African-Americans from the New Deal Era

South Bend, Indiana. WPA Negro Recreation Trio (regular WSBT and WFAM broadcasts). National Archives, Washington, D.C., 16779-C

Published on Jan 15, 2013 Contact: Jared Wadley

Thursday, January 10, 2013

All-white jury pools in Florida convicted black defendants 16 percent more often than white defendants

All-white jury pools in Florida convicted black defendants 16 percent more often than white defendants

Study: All-White Jury Pools Convict Black Defendants 16 Percent More Often Than Whites

Duke-led researchers examined more than 700 non-capital felony criminal cases in two Florida counties from 2000-2010

Durham, NC - Juries formed from all-white jury pools in Florida convicted black defendants 16 percent more often than white defendants, a gap that was nearly eliminated when at least one member of the jury pool was black, according to a Duke University-led study.

The researchers examined more than 700 non-capital felony criminal cases in Sarasota and Lake counties from 2000-2010 and looked at the effects of the age, race and gender of jury pools on conviction rates.

all-white jury poolsThe jury pool typically consisted of 27 members selected from eligible residents in the two counties. From this group, attorneys chose six seated jurors plus alternates.

"I think this is the first strong and convincing evidence that the racial composition of the jury pool actually has a major effect on trial outcomes," said senior author Patrick Bayer, chairman of Duke's Economics Department.

"Our Sixth Amendment right to a trial by a fair and impartial jury of our peers is a bedrock of the criminal justice system in the U.S., and yet, despite the importance of that right, there's been very little systematic analysis of how the composition of juries actually affects trial outcomes, how the rules that we have in place for selecting juries impact those outcomes," Bayer said.

The study, posted Tuesday on the Quarterly Journal of Economics (, focused on how conviction rates varied with the composition of the jury pool, which is randomly determined by which eligible residents are called for jury duty that day.

"The idea is to treat the jury pool as a natural experiment -- some defendants randomly draw a jury pool that includes some black members while others face a jury seated from an all-white jury pool," Bayer said.

Among the key findings:
-- In cases with no blacks in the jury pool, blacks were convicted 81 percent of the time, and whites were convicted 66 percent of the time. The estimated difference in conviction rates rises to 16 percent when the authors controlled for the age and gender of the jury and the year and county in which the trial took place.

-- When the jury pool included at least one black person, the conviction rates were nearly identical: 71 percent for black defendants, 73 percent for whites.

-- About 40 percent of the jury pools they examined had no black members and most of the others had one or two black members.

-- When blacks were in the jury pool, they were slightly more likely to be seated on a jury than whites. The eligible jury population in these counties was less than 5 percent black.

Bayer said they chose data from Sarasota and Lake counties because these jurisdictions provide more detailed information from court trials than do most other jurisdictions throughout the country.

The researchers said they wanted to know how the racial make-up of a jury pool affects the outcome of a trial because existing empirical literature on the subject was "sparse" and subject to a number of limitations. They also cited anecdotal evidence from trials that has raised questions about fairness, and noted the proportion of incarcerated blacks is almost four times the proportion of blacks in the general population.

Studies based on experimental evidence from "mock" trials are limited in part because the stakes are far lower than for real trials, they said. Studies that examine the correlation of a seated jury's race and related trial results are problematic because seated jurors are not selected at random from a set of people on the jury pool, they said.

In most criminal trials in the United States, prosecutors and defense attorneys can exclude potential jurors without explanation through a process called peremptory challenge. So even if the initial jury pool is randomly drawn, the nature of the charges, the evidence and the attributes of the defendant can all influence the composition of the seated jury.

Excluding potential jurors based on race is illegal; Bayer said the data they examined did not show any misconduct by attorneys. The findings imply that the application of criminal justice is "highly uneven," Bayer said, because conviction rates vary substantially with random variation in the racial composition of the jury pool.

"Simply put, the luck of the draw on the racial composition of the jury pool has a lot to do with whether someone is convicted and that raises obvious concerns about the fairness of our criminal justice system," Bayer said.

"I think our study points to the need for a lot more analysis, and a lot more transparency in collecting data and analyzing it in jurisdictions throughout the country," Bayer said.

Other researchers for the study, "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials," were Shamena Anwar, an assistant professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and Randi Hjalmarsson, an associate professor of economics at Queen Mary, University of London.

More Information Duke Today Contact: Steve Hartsoe. Affiliation: News and Communications Phone: (919) 681-4515. Email:

CITATION: "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials," senior author Patrick Bayer, Duke University; Shamena Anwar, Carnegie Mellon University; Randi Hjalmarsson, Queen Mary, University of London. Quarterly Journal of Economics, online April 17, 2012, print in May 2012; DOI number 0.1093/QJE/QJS014.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lead exposure rates among African-American and Hispanic children roughly double those of white children

Lead exposure rates among African-American and Hispanic children roughly double those of white children. LEAD EXPOSURE LOWERS FOURTH GRADERS' TEST SCORES

MADISON - Lead exposure is related to lower test scores among Wisconsin fourth graders, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"What we find is that even low amounts of lead exposure during early development have direct, measurable, negative consequences for children's school performance later in life," says Mike Amato, a doctoral candidate in psychology and environmental studies and one of the authors of the study, recently published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology.

Students in Milwaukee Public Schools were included in the study, which was coordinated by researchers at UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Cadentown Rosenwald School

Cadentown Rosenwald School, Caden Lane, Lexington, Fayette County, KY
Researchers matched medical records of children who had been tested for lead exposure with their school records. Even after controlling for differences in test scores due to poverty, gender, English proficiency and other factors, children who had been exposed to lead scored lower on each subject of the fourth grade Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE), which measures student competence in reading, math and other basic subjects.

The study found that environmental lead exposure, usually occurring from contaminated dust and soil around older homes, poses a significant challenge to schools striving to meet WKCE standards.

"There's a lot of discussion about what schools should do to increase educational proficiency," says Marty Kanarek, a professor of population health sciences affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. "It's a very complex issue with multiple causes, but lead exposure is part of the equation."

The most common source of lead exposure is contaminated dust from paint in older homes, according to Amato. "Children exposed to moderate amounts of lead often do not show immediate symptoms," he explains. "However, our study suggests that effects can last long after the initial exposure and have a measurable impact on test scores."

The study also found that lead exposure rates among African-American and Hispanic children were roughly double those of white children. Kanarek says lead exposure in children is a matter of social justice.

"Students who have been exposed to lead are at a considerable disadvantage the first day they show up at school, before they've even met a teacher," says Kanarek. "Lead exposure decreases cognitive ability in all children regardless of race, but the fact that African-American and Hispanic students were twice as likely as white students to be exposed suggests part of the racial achievement gap may be directly due to lead in the environment. If that's true, then educational reforms alone will not eliminate the problem. We need to clean up contaminated housing."

For more information on childhood lead exposure and how to prevent it, Wisconsin residents should contact the Department of Health Services Wisconsin Healthy Homes and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 608-266-5817 or visit


University of Wisconsin-Madison. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1/8/13 Contact: Marty Kanarek, 608-263-1626,; Mike Amato, 617-538-7270, - Steve Pomplun, 608-263-3063,

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale keynote speaker 44th annual IUPUI Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner

Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale keynote speaker 44th annual IUPUI Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 44th annual Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner takes place at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis. This year’s theme is “To live as brothers, or perish as fools.”

Bobby Seale, who co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966, is the keynote speaker for this year’s dinner. As an activist in the 1960s and 1970s, Seale’s causes included better social services in black neighborhoods. Today, defining himself as a “revolutionary humanist,” the charismatic speaker calls for a society of greater direct community democracy complete with cyberspace activism and demonstrates how civil rights issues are interconnected and interrelated with environmental problems and global economics. Seale’s books include "Seize the Time," and "A Lonely Rage."

Bobby Seale

Bobby Seale at Binghamton University, February 25, 2006
“For the past 43 years, the IUPUI Black Student Union has sponsored the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner, one of the largest events on IUPUI’s campus," said Meaghan Banks, president of the IUPUI Black Student Union. "This year, we will continue that tradition, and we invite the Indianapolis community to join us for an evening of empowerment and celebration in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy.”

The annual King celebration dinner is presented by the Black Student Union with the support of the IUPUI Office of Student Involvement. In addition to the keynote address, the annual dinner includes an award ceremony honoring campus and community recipients for service reflective of King’s dream of social justice and equality.

Individual tickets for the dinner, on sale at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd., Suite 370, are $25 for IUPUI undergraduate and graduate students; $65 for IUPUI faculty and staff; and $75 for community guests.

Sponsorship packages are also available at $1,000 for 20 tickets; $850 for 15 tickets; and $425 for 10 tickets.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis For additional information, call the Office of Student Involvement at 317-274-3931 or contact Meaghan Banks at

Image Credit: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sleep Study in African-Americans seeks connections to heart disease, stroke

Sleep Study in African-Americans seeks connections to heart disease, stroke

JACKSON, Miss. – A sleep study by University of Mississippi Medical Center researchers beginning next week in up to 1,200 African-Americans promises to deepen knowledge about how sleep disorders may contribute to cardiovascular and other diseases.

It could also connect ancient Hindu philosophy on stages of sleep with modern physiology.

At seven to eight hours a day, sleep is a major activity of daily life. The average person sleeps 2,500 to 2,900 hours a year. In an average 79-year lifetime, that’s as many as 26 years.

“We never think about it. We go to bed, every day we get up and we don’t think about those 26 years,” said Dr. Tandaw Samdarshi, associate professor of cardiology and principal investigator of the study. “With this study, we will see what the effects of sleep are.”

Dr. Tandaw SamdarshiThis summer, Samdarshi received a four-year, $3.8 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to fund the study. His team completed a pilot study in 2010, making way for this larger investigation titled Sleep Disordered Breathing and Risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in the Jackson Heart Study.

At-home recordings taken by study participants will show researchers the quality and quantity of the individual’s sleep. Samdarshi and his team also plan to study how physical activity and environmental factors such as noise, pollution and temperature affect sleep. He plans to start gathering data from the first participants next week.

Ultimately, the team hopes the findings can reduce the public burden of heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions. And perhaps identify how to get more from the years spent asleep.

Looking into ancient knowledge of sleep’s health benefits, Samdarshi points to the Upanishads, ancient Indian texts. They contain descriptions of sleep in four stages of consciousness: jagrata, or waking consciousness; svapna, or dreaming; deep sleep known as susupti; and turiya, an experience of pure consciousness.

“You are supposed to strive for that last stage,” Samdarshi said. “You must have a strong will and meditate. This is where you can connect with the higher power.”

Modern medicine is able to link the increased risk for diseases, such as hypertension, cancer, depression and diabetes, to problems with sleep. Thanks to the understanding of sleep disorders as a public health issue in recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increased its surveillance of sleep-related behaviors.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, an independent non-profit organization, reports 50-70 million U.S. adults have some sleep or wakefulness disorder. Alcohol, fatigue, stress and other factors can contribute to lack of sleep, as can the round-the-clock nature of technology.

“So we want to ask, what physiological changes happen when you are sleep deprived? We know your cortisol levels go up, your blood ghrelin levels go up, and we know that REM sleep burns more energy, about 300 calories a night,” Samdarshi said. The hormone ghrelin increases appetite and is secreted by the stomach and pancreas.

Of the 20 JHS participants in the 2010 pilot study, 17.6 percent experienced moderate sleep-disordered breathing and 65 percent showed some degree of sleep disorder.

For the main study, the researchers hope to enroll 1,200 people of all ages from the JHS cohort. Participants will fill out questionnaires and use a monitoring device at home, called an embletta, to take recordings during sleep.

“We will get almost the same amount of data, save for EEG and ocular data, that we would if we observed them in a sleep lab,” Samdarshi said.

The researchers will analyze blood samples for hemoglobin A1C, the inflammation marker Interleukin 6 and fasting glucose.

The investigation marks the largest sleep study in an African-American cohort, Samdarshi said. Dr. Herman Taylor, professor of cardiology and JHS principal investigator, said Samdarshi’s work is on the vanguard of the type of investigations the JHS aims to stimulate.

“Looking into sleep is critical,” Taylor said. “Disorders of sleep have gained a lot interest as a genesis area for many types of cardiovascular diseases. This study will help shed new light on that topic.

“We do know that a shallower nocturnal dip in blood pressure can lead to kidney dysfunction, enlargement of the heart and other problems. It’s not a leap to hypothesize that sleep and blood-pressure dipping are connected. And that poor sleep is probably a significant risk factor for cardiovascular dysfunction.”

According to Taylor, as one of several large, federally funded investigations to spin off of the JHS, the sleep study is one more example of JHS realizing its full potential and driving forward innovative research.

Media Contact: Jack Mazurak at 601-984-1970 or

Monday, December 31, 2012

Proud to be in the Service: Images of African Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II

Proud to be in the Service: Images of African Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II. African Americans Highlighted in WWII Art Exhibit; Opening Jan. 25

Waterbury, Conn. - A stirring and historical art exhibit is coming to campus this month, offering a unique opportunity for the community to revisit an important time in American history. The exhibit, "Proud to be in the Service: Images of African Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II," will tell the story of African Americans serving both on and off the battlefield in WWII through a collection of black and white photographs.

In honor of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the exhibit will open Fri., Jan. 25, just 10 days after the nation celebrates Dr. King's birthday, and remain on campus until April 4, 2013. An opening reception will be held from 6 -7 p.m. in the Leever Atrium Gallery in the Fine Arts Center, and feature period-expert authors and artists. The event is free and open to the public.

William H. Foster III, professor of English at NVCC, was essential in bringing the project together and will serve as the exhibit curator while the display remains on campus.

African Americans Highlighted in WWII Art Exhibit“It is my hope to have this exhibit start conversations for a number of groups in Waterbury,” said Professor Foster. “This is an important way for our campus to reach out to a number of audiences at the same time.”

A long-time researcher of images of African Americans in print, Professor Foster has been an expert commentator for CNN News and National Public Radio. In 2012, he presented as far as the AltCom Comics Festival in Malmo, Sweden, and the Comics Forum in Leeds, England.

In complement to his work, Foster is also helping to recruit actors for a 1938 play, "Stars & Bars," that was written for the Negro Unit of the General Theatre Project in Connecticut but never made it to the stage.
The script, which was made available recently to the Mattatuck Museum in cooperation with The Library of Congress and the Federal Theatre Project Archives at George Mason University, sheds light on the history and status of African Americans in the Hartford area. A performance is scheduled for Jan. 29 and will be directed by former NVCC Theater Director, Ed Wierzbicki.

Naugatuck Valley Community College 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708 (203) 575-8040 || For more information on the exhibit or the play, contact Professor Foster at or 203-596-8612. Click here for directions to the College.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Enid Pinkney wins Peter H. Brink Award for Historic Preservation of the Hampton House Motel

Enid Pinkney wins Peter H. Brink Award for Historic Preservation of the Hampton House Motel

Talladega, Alabama—Community activist, historian, and former assistant principal, Mrs. Enid Pinkney won a major national award along with 22 other recipients in Washington state last month.

Mrs. Pinkney, a 1953 Talladega College graduate won the Peter H. Brink Award for Individual Achievement in Historic Preservation. The award was presented at the national conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Spokane, Washington. Mrs. Pinkney formed the Historic Hampton Community Trust to help preserve the Hampton House Motel in Brownsville, (Miami) Florida. This hotel was a premier hotel and one of only a handful that catered to African American celebrities during segregation. The motel was visited by Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and many others in the 1960s.

This Talladega College alumna has worked tirelessly for decades to preserve African American history in her native Miami, Florida. Mrs. Pinkney is the unofficial historian of Brownsville, Florida. She has written a book on its history, produced several videos about Brownsville and has worked on numerous historical projects. She became the first black president of the Dade Heritage Trust historic preservation organization in 1988. # # #

Talladega News. Released On: Friday, December 21, 2012 Nicola Lawler Office of Public Relations 256-761-6207

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Monument Honors American patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Monument Honors American patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War

Athens, Ga. - The city of Washington, Ga., will unveil a new monument featuring a sculpture by University of Georgia instructor Kinzey Branham that honors American patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War—including African Americans and Native Americans—on Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. on the square in downtown Washington.

Branham created a three-piece granite and bronze monument with the bust of American spy James Armistead Lafayette as its centerpiece. The monument also will tell the story of Wilkes County slave Austin Dabney and honor the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 Af

"My family has been in Wilkes County since the late 1700s, so being involved with this monument on the square in Washington has added meaning for me," said Branham, who found the image of Lafayette to use for the bust. "Using that picture, I was actually able to put a face on all those black slaves who served, and it was his face."

 James Armistead Lafayette

UGA faculty member Kinzey Branham sculpted a bust, above, of James Armistead Lafayette that honors American patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War. The bust is part of a three-piece granite and bronze monument. The monument also tells the story of Wilkes County slave Austin Dabney and honors the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 African-American soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War.
Wilkes County was the site of the Battle of Kettle Creek on Feb. 14, 1779, when militia forces led by Col. Andrew Pickens of South Carolina attacked an expedition of British Loyalists. While not a major event in the overall war, the victory served to boost patriot morale and prolong the British effort to gain control of the Georgia backcountry, becoming one of the most important revolutionary war battles to be fought in Georgia.

While accurate numbers for percentages and participation of all populations in the colonial armies are elusive, African Americans and Native Americans were regularly conscripted to serve in the patriot army and militias. Dabney, who fought against the British, was the only African American to be granted land by the state of Georgia in recognition of his bravery and service. Lafayette was the first African-American spy, who joined the army under Gen. Marquis de Lafayette and posed as a runaway slave to supply information on British troop movement and arms.

"Kettle Creek was a pivotal battle in Georgia; and one year later, the city was named for George Washington in honor of the victory and with some added spite for the British," said David Jenkins, economic development director for the city of Washington, who added that Wilkes County is in the process of developing a master plan for the Kettle Creek battle site. "This new monument is an important civic expression for us, recognizing the experience of many Georgians as well as that of men who were not recognized at the time but nonetheless played very important roles in our history."

Branham earned his bachelor's degree in sculpture in 1979 from the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and his master's degree from Louisiana State University. He has worked as an adjunct professor of sculpture in the school of art since 2006.

"Artwork in the community is a very tangible way to keep our civic virtues front and center," said Gene Wright, interim director of the school of art. "The monument in Washington is a great example of public art becoming a part of the history of a community, and we're honored to have one of our former students and current faculty play such an important role in it."

For more information on the Lamar Dodd School of Art, see

Writer Alan Flurry, Old College 215 Herty Drive Athens, GA706/542-3331 Email: